*Coffee Crisis
(Sega Genesis)

About (Background)

Coffee Crisis is a 2D side-scrolling, retro-styled beat'em up in the vein of games such as Streets of Rage, and created by Mega Cat Studios. While working as a contractor developer at Mega Cat Studios, my main game projects were as a co-developer on the original Sega Genesis homebrew version of Coffee Crisis, as well as the Lead Developer on the enhanced version of Coffee Crisis for modern platforms. This project page is about the original, former version for the Sega Genesis.

About (The Game)

"Coffee Crisis is an arcade-style beat 'em up full of caffeinated carnage! This is a full scale release for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, packed with classic gameplay and an extra espresso shot of action!

  • Single player and local co-op campaign

  • 7 caffeinated power-ups to keep your alien-bashing blasting on all cylinders

  • 8 challenging bosses

  • Visit real Pittsburgh locations and areas!

  • Charge-up attacks, suplex throws, and high-test weapons!

  • 12 professional metal tracks

Crush alien overlords with metal-fueled, caffeine aided combos to save Earth’s most precious resources - free wifi, heavy metal, and coffee! Feel their extra-terrestrial flesh rip to shreds as you crank the alien cries to 11!

Save the planet, save the wifi, save the metal, save the COFFEE!"

The Game Development

Prior to getting hired at Mega Cat Studios, I spent a few years learning how the Sega Genesis hardware works from Sonic the Hedgehog ROM hacking (especially from Socket the Hedgeduck development), learning some Motorola 68k assembly programming from that, and learning how to use the homebrew C-based SGDK library for Sega Genesis development (from the Sega port of Ultra Air Hockey). Being local to Pittsburgh, boss at Mega Cat stumbled across this portfolio website, the retro Sega Genesis development, and my ROM hacking work at Sonic Stuff Research Group. The lead/sole developer of the Sega Genesis version of Coffee Crisis was on a temporary leave of absence, and they needed somebody to wrap up this version. So I was hired and brought on board to finish this game remotely. This hiring later led to being brought onboard on-site to HQ, and me replacing the subpar developer who was working on the enhanced, modern Unity3D version for modern platforms (Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Switch), in which I took over the project and built from the ground up.

My main duties to wrapup the game were to design some new level layouts, debug and fix remaining bugs on real hardware, implement static spawn points and Finish Them Zones for enemies, program in behavior and place breakable objects types within levels. In the process, I created a blog article for the company about how to utilize the Sega Genesis VDP graphics chip for handling graphics from what I have learned over the years of Genesis development.


Features developed:

  • Quantized new level layouts into tiles and palettes, as well did the same for breakable object sprite objects.

  • Defined locations for "Finish Them" fight Zones, static enemy spawns points, and for breakable objects.

  • Created a new coffee drinking mini game

  • Hunted down, troubleshooted, and fixed bugs on real Sega Genesis hardware

    • Everdrive MD v3 flashcartridge

    • Genesis Repro Cartridge